The Australian and American Freedom Rides
This essay briefly discusses the similarities and differences of the ‘Australian and American Freedom Rides’ history. Throughout the essay, there is a discussion on what the reasons were for the protest of the Freedom Rides. It also points out the duration of the protest and the major locations where they were held. The essay also shows the different reactions to the protest and the influential behaviour it results in.
The American Freedom Rides were motivated by the ‘Journey of Reconciliation’ in 1947, “led by civil rights activists Bayard Rustin and George Houser”1. The Freedom Rides in America involved riding a bus opposing the segregation of black and whites riding together in buses2. Racial segregation was made illegal after the Boynton v. Virginia case, especially in major public places such as “restaurants and waiting rooms in terminal serving buses that crossed state lines”3 . After the case, the Freedom Riders defied racial segregation by seeing whether the Boynton v. Virginia case law was followed.
The Australian Freedom Rides were inspired by the Freedom Rides of the ‘African American Civil Rights Movement.’ The reason for the Freedom Rides in Australia (as in America) was to protest against the cruel behaviour of white people towards black people who were living in country towns4. The Freedom Rides in Australia also involved riding a bus just
like America, into New South Wales country towns and protesting in sections where Aboriginal people were rejected; such as being “often refused service in shops, made to stand aside while others were served, confined to their own section in cinemas, banned from clubs and pubs, and excluded from public swimming pools”5.
The Freedom Rides in America consisted of riding into “segregated southern United States”6, it started off at Washington D.C., on May 4, 1961 and planned to reach New Orleans on May 17, “but they never reached New Orleans”7. The Freedom...
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